Program Guide of the Brazil Carnival 2019

Dates for Carnival Parades, Balls, Street Parties and More Events During 2019 Rio Carnival

The Rio Carnival officially commences on Friday March 01st 2019 through to Wednesday March 02nd 2019. A number of street parties, Carnival Balls, and other events are held during this period with the major attraction being the Samba Parade at the Sambadrome. If you desire to vacation in Rio during this time you will need to plan well in advance so that you get to experience the best of Brazilian culture.

The Rio Carnival Agenda

The Rio carnival commences with the crowning of King Momo, a Greek legendary character, who represents Fat Tuesday. King Momo is handed over the key to the city by the mayor, heralding the start of the Rio Carnival. Hundreds of street bands, known as 'Blocos', with gorgeous samba dancers in tow, parade through the neighborhoods of Rio, putting up dazzling performances all through the night. Impromptu street parties take place all over while samba schools prepare for the final showdown at the Sambadrome. Over 80,000 tickets to the Samba Parade at the stadium are sold every year, which is the major attraction during the carnival, televised throughout the world. Various Carnival Balls are hosted at Rio's famous venues where masquerade parties and theme nights attract a large crowd. You can have a sneak preview of all the action during rehearsal nights where samba schools open their doors to the public. For tourists, this is a great way to learn the samba and experience carioca culture at its best. Each day of the Rio Carnival is action packed with many exciting and enthralling events to attend.

The Rio Carnival Agenda

Day 1 – Friday 01st March 2019

13:00 – The traditional opening ceremony commences with the crowning of Carnival King Momo by the mayor of Rio. This symbolic ritual has been practiced for decades and is an open invitation for everyone to join in the five-day long celebrations. By this time, many street parties are also underway throughout the city.


21:00 – Performances by the Access Group begin at the Sambadromo with samba schools competing for a prestigious spot in the Special Group for the next year's competition. Tickets to the event are reasonably priced.

23:00 – Scala, a nightclub in Leblon hosts its first in a series of carnival balls, the Cordao do Bola Preta Ball. The ball dedicated to the bohemian street band, Bola Preta, is well attended by celebrities including famous sambistas who perform at this first big bash during the Rio Carnival.

Day 2 – Saturday 02nd March 2019

09:30 – The Cordão do Bola Preta street party sets the tone for Carnival Saturday. The parade moves through Rio's historic downtown area gathering a huge fan following with samba drummers leading the way.

16:00 – The crowd gathers at Praça General Osório in Ipanema to join the Banda de Ipanema for some nonstop fun and entertainment. A large number of people flock to the event to see some of the most colorful and interesting costumes.

20:00 – The most popular samba bands battle clamor for attention at Avenue Rio Branco in Rio City Center. The crowd joins these fascinating hands dancing through the night as the competition gets tougher.

21:00 – Second day of performances by the Access Group begin at the Sambadromo. Samba schools put their heart and soul into winning the competition. Tickets to the event are reasonably priced.

23:00 – The most glamorous and coveted event of the night begins at the Copacabana Palace Rio de Janeiro where the rich and famous gather to celebrate the carnival in the most dazzling costumes. The hotel is decorated with a special theme for the Magic Ball where guests are entertained by the best samba bands until the wee hours of the morning.

23:00 – The Mangueira Ball hosted by Scala is another great opportunity for revelers to experience the sights and sounds of the samba up close with members of the Estacao Primeira de Mangueira Samba School including its drummers, dancers, and the school flag bearer.

Day 3 – Sunday 03nd March 2019

Street parties continue throughout the day at different locations across the city.

17:00 - One of the popular street parties on the day is the Simpatia é Quase Amor.

21:00 – All eyes are on the Sambadromo on Carnival Sunday as the Special Group Samba Parade begins with the first six of the top samba schools in Rio performing in front of over 80,000 fans. Thousands of participants put up one final show for their school in a bid to win the prestigious championship title. The event is televised throughout the world.

23:00 – Scala hosts the City Ball, a theme party dedicated to the city of Rio and its people. The ball attracts plenty of locals.

The Rio Carnival Agenda

Day 4 – Monday 04th March 2019

21:00 – Electrifying entertainment by the next six samba schools in the Special Group continues at the Sambadromo. The colors, the sights, and the reverberating sounds of the samba drums, send the thousands of spectators into a state of euphoria.

23:00 – Once again Scala keeps revelers entertained with the Ball of the Beers or Baile da Boa. Free unlimited beer flows through the night along with live bands in attendance.

Day 5 – Tuesday 13th March 2019

16:00 – For those who have missed the most popular street band, Banda de Ipanema, this is the last chance to join the electrifying street parade as carnival celebrations reaches its peak.

19:00 – The Children's Samba Parade that takes place at the Sambodromo is the perfect entertainment option for families. Children that belong to the samba schools put up their own performances that can often be as entertaining as the adult events.

23:00 – All eyes are on the legendary Gay Costume Ball at the Scala. Thousands of members of the alternative society adorn the most extravagant and outlandish costumes at this ticketed event. Although Drag Queens take center stage, the event attracts a large crowd, gay or straight.

Rio Carnival 2019

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